I guess a cynic might say that nobody’s reading because everybody’s publishing. Either way, the traditional paper book is obviously practically extinct. Some staggering numbers for you to ponder over the weekend (“On-Demand Titles Drive Jump in Book Output,” by Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly):
The production of traditional books rose 1% in 2007, to 276,649 new titles and editions, but the output of on-demand, short run and unclassified titles soared from 21,936 in 2006 to 134,773 last year, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by R.R. Bowker. The combination of the two categories results in a 39% increase in output to 411,422.